2014 Trefethen "Estate" Napa Valley Dry Riesling

SKU #1217056 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Waxy and aromatic in petrol, this stainless-steel-fermented white offers flavors of white flowers, green apple and lime around sizzling acidity. From the Main Ranch Vineyard, an estate property, it finishes high-pitched and lean, completely refreshing. (VB)  (1/2016)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* It may start out as a bit of a minimalist in its tight, lightly varietal aromas, but it delivers more to like in the palate despite a chalky edge to its firm texture. Along the way, it blends peach fruitiness with grapefruity tightness and narrowness, and were it not for its long finish, we would probably have held it something short of full commendation. But length and balance suggest potential for better, and the wine will be well-served by allowing it to mature for a couple of years.  (9/2015)

K&L Notes

The Trefethen Riesling is a favorite among Riesling fans who know where to find the best California-grown versions of this noble varietal, but that's not the only reason that this family-run winery continues to grow and re-plant Riesling--they also love it themselves. And they've done the extra work it takes to make sure that vintage after vintage, this is no ho-hum California Riesling. The Trefethen family's Riesling is picked in several stages, to preserve both the crisp, citrusy acidity and the rich, tropical fruit flavors that it's capable of producing. Then, they ferment the wine with several different yeast strains that have been specifically chosen for the varietal. They bottle it early, preserving the fresh flavors. While in the bottle, it develops characteristic notes of mineral oil along with golden pear and lemon. The California Riesling fan club is small, but so is the price of admission; this bottle will make you glad you joined.

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Price: $17.99
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Staff Image By: James Knight | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/9/2016 | Send Email
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This shows more smoky and rock-dusty aromas than petrol, to my nose, and spirals down the palate with narrow, citrusy-apple acidity. The aroma lingers; there's a leesy, artisan cheese rind earthiness that's just out of reach... While I usually look to Trefethen for a Southern Aussie-style dry Riesling, this one maybe trends a bit east of the Vosges...

Additional Information:



- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Pr├Ądikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Sp├Ątlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 12.5